Jaguar TCS Racing’s Mitch Evans reaffirmed his belief that the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship contains a stronger grid than Formula One as the Kiwi looks to resume his title charge this weekend at the 2022 Marrakesh E-Prix.
Evans heads into Marrakesh off the back of victory in the inaugural Jakarta E-Prix last time out and currently sits in fourth position in the Drivers’ Championship.
That win – Evans’ third of the season – puts him right in the mix for the title heading into a busy schedule of seven races across just six weeks to wrap up Season 8.
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The top four drivers are separated by just 12 points heading into the final stretch, once again underlining Formula E’s reputation as the most competitive racing series in the world.
And speaking ahead of the weekend, Evans doubled down on comments he made recently that Formula E is the most difficult motorsport Championship in the world to race in, suggesting also that the series possesses the best driver line-up.
“There is this perception that the guys in Formula One are the best in the world,” he said. “But I think on average, if you took everyone, I'd say Formula E is stronger. There have been a few examples now of guys that have come in (from Formula One) and struggled a bit initially.
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“You see guys like Antonio Giovinazzi (Dragon/Penske Autosport) and he’s found it really, really tough – in the first race we almost lapped him. A lot of the guys in Formula One I raced against I've beaten, so just because they’re in F1 doesn't mean that they're better than us.
“On top of that, the cars are a lot more similar. In Formula One there are only a few cars that have got capabilities of winning a race or a Championship, whereas with us I can literally turn up this weekend and either win or I can just miss it a bit and finish 15th or 16th.
“I think that's what is so incredible about Formula E is we’ve got this amazing technology, but also, from a sporting point of view, we've got these incredible teams, brands and drivers that form a really strong Championship.”
In Evans’ eyes, the strength of the Championship is continuing to increase each year, with more and more drivers capable of mounting a title challenge.
The 28-year-old partially accredits that to Formula E’s new qualifying format, which was introduced at the start of Season 8 and has made the series even more competitive.
“The last few years have been insane,” he continued. “If you look at the entry list, the level that both teams and drivers operate at is at a serious level. I think a big difference from this year has obviously been the qualifying format, that shook things up.
“After winning the last race, I thought ‘okay maybe I'll be leading the Championship now’, but you've got Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH), Edoardo Mortara (ROKiT Venturi Racing), and also Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes-EQ) ahead of me in the top five.
“I obviously caught up, but it's just by little margins, and that's what it’s going to take for the rest of the Championship, finding who can have that consistency.
A fourth victory of the season this weekend could put Evans top of the standings and send a title warning to his rivals.
The Kiwi has a mixed record in the city that marks its return to Formula E calendar following a two-year hiatus, with the race replacing the postponed Vancouver E-Prix.
And Evans is relishing the chance to return to the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan for a fifth time in his electric racing career.
“I feel like I've got unfinished business in Marrakesh,” he said. “In Season 5 we qualified well, but then Vergne spun up on the first corner and I went back to like, almost last, and I came back to ninth.
“And then in 2020, we had an error in the system where I was last in group, and we missed the start by like half a second. I came from the back, from 24th to be sixth, it was a proper racing story. It is still the record of how many places gained in a race.
“I don't know if it's good memories, but we have been strong there in the past, although that doesn't guarantee anything this weekend, as we saw in Mexico. We can't just rely on that past experience.
“In Formula E every race is extremely exciting, unpredictable, but I feel like Marrakesh is a really good racing track because there are a lot of places to overtake, and the energy sensitivity is very high.
“It will be a classic Formula E race where I can't see anyone breaking away, it is similar to Monaco where leading the pack is very difficult as I found a few races ago because of how energy sensitive the track is, so I think you'll see quite a close race.
“It is a long way to go but obviously, when you're in this position, you want to try and capitalise on it. What it means to me? I mean, everything.”
The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship’s most extensive calendar to date continues in Marrakesh this Saturday 2 July live on Eurosport 2 with coverage from 18:00 BST.
Grandstand seat tickets for the 2022 London E-Prix on July 30 & 31 are available now starting at £49 from www.FIAFormulaE.com/London
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